Hansberry Recalls Subi's 'Fairytale Finish'
29 March 2017  

Subiaco Floreat players mob match-winner Chris Hansberry // John & Carmen Sherry

Subiaco Floreat were so expectant of their campaign ending prematurely, an end-of-season trip had been booked in the week of the Alcohol.Think Again Premier Cricket Grand Final.

In an extraordinary twist of fate, instead of spending their Sunday catching waves at Seminyak Beach, the Lions lifted the First Grade premiership at the WACA Ground, completing one of the most remarkable finals campaigns in recent history.

As Chris Hansberry hammered a ball backward of point to clinch the title, his embrace with teammate Andrew Holder was full of emotion and joy.

Subiaco Floreat were staring defeat in the eyes at 8-196, chasing 285 to win on Sunday. The pair’s unbeaten 90-run stand is now etched in Subi folklore.

The same pair had fought back in similar circumstances with the bat a fortnight earlier against regular season runners-up Fremantle, entering the fray at 7-79 chasing 156 to win.

Hansberry and Holder were also at the crease together when the winning runs were hit in their shock preliminary final win over minor premiers Claremont-Nedlands.

"It’s a pretty amazing feeling really; it hasn’t quite sunk in yet, it’s a bit surreal,” Hansberry says.

"Certainly from our perspective at the half way mark of the season, we didn’t expect to be in this position. Credit to the guys, they played unbelievably well.

"It’s a bit of a fairytale finish really.”

Hansberry and Holder are close friends, with their bond a driving force behind the match-winning partnerships.

"It’s a really special feeling to be out there with one of my best mates,” he claims.

"To fight and win the game for the rest of your team is a fantastic feeling.

"I’ve known Noddy (Holder) for many years. To be out there with him in all three finals games when we have hit the winning runs is a special moment.”

At 8-196, the Subiaco side looked dead and buried. Holder came to the crease with Hansberry for the third consecutive match, yet both were still confident of a stunning victory.

"The belief we were able to gain from the Fremantle game, putting on 120-odd was probably in the back of my mind,” he recalls.

"I knew if we could form a partnership and try to chip away, we would give it a real good shake.

"The WACA is a fast scoring ground, it was more about getting set and facing enough balls to give ourselves a chance of being in the hunt.”

Among all the hype, long-serving veteran Alex Malcolm concluded his Premier Cricket career at Subiaco Floreat over the weekend. Appropriately he exited a winner.

"I think in the back of everyone’s mind it certainly was a factor,” Hansberry says about Malcolm’s final game.

"I know "Pro” (Malcolm) is a very modest man, he is very much team focused. He wanted us to focus on what we needed to do, not worry about the fact it could be his last game.

"I know from my perspective we were all really determined to give him a fitting send off.

"He is one of our best mates and has had a fantastic career; to do that for him was fantastic.”

The future is bright for the Lions lineup, with sustained success the goal moving forward. The side has some of the best state talent at their disposal and will be hard to beat next season.

"We’ve got a really good mix of youth and experienced,” Hansberry says.

"We are blessed with the young players, certainly Cam Green is a very special talent.

"We have guys like Geremy Fatouros who came from Claremont as well as home-grown talent Hamish McKenzie, he is going to be a fantastic player as well.

"We have a good blend at the moment, if we can gel that together, there’s no reason why we can’t continue that success.”

-Elliot Raiter